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Archaeology: the “Oldest Hug in the world” excavated in Greece

What media call “the oldest hug” in the world was excavated in Greece. Two human skeletons of a man and a woman were found in embracing position, buried together  in the surroundings of cave Alepotrypa in Diros area, in South-Westen Peloponesse, not far away from the city of Gytheio.

Diro excavation

Nearby, another pair of skeletons also from a man and a woman were found in what the Greek Culture Ministry describes as “contracted position, in connection with broken arrow heads.”

According to a statement issued by the Greek Culture Ministry,

simultaneous double burials are rare, double burials in embracing position are extremely rare and certainly a not frequent archaeological finding.”

Tests with carbon C 14 showed place the skeletons in 3800 BC, while DNA analysis of the bones showed that the skeleton belonged to two men and two women in young adult age.

Furthers tests are due in order to reveal the cause of death of the hugging couple.

According to the archaeologists, the couple was buried in this hugging position simultaneously.

Archaeologists Speaking to state NERIT TV, chief archaeologist of the project Dr G.A. Papathanasopoulos said that the “burial in embracing position is unique in Europe, while similar cases may have been found in Asia or Americas.”

Dozens of other skeletons were found in the area, as well.

Diro excavation1

Excavation in the area showed that the cave had been unbroken used from the Early to the Late Neolithic period (6000-3200 BC) and confirmed the long-term use of the cave as residential and burial ground. Findings in ground layers from the late Neolithic period (4200-3800 BC) also revealed the double burials of infants in a vase as well as the burial of a fetus.Diro excavation2

The skeletons were found in the place called “Ksagkounaki”. The excavations are part of a 5-year-old project that concluded in 2014.


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